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Home » Antenatal Home Care » What is Preterm Labour?

What is Preterm Labour?

Preterm labour is a condition in which the uterus contracts causing the cervix (opening to the womb) to thin and open before 37 weeks.  These changes may lead to preterm birth.  When a baby is born preterm it is at a higher risk for health problems.

Some of the symptoms women with preterm labour may experience are:

  • Uterine contractions every 10 minutes or less (6 or more per hour)
  • Menstrual like cramps (these may be constant or come and go)
  • Low dull backache
  • Abdominal cramping (with or without diarrhea)
  • A change or increase in vaginal discharge

What Should I Do If I Am Having Preterm Labour Symptoms?

Never ignore symptoms and assume they mean nothing.

Follow this guide:

  1. Stop what you are doing
  2. Empty your bladder
  3. Drink 2-3 glasses of water or juice
  4. Lie down on your side for 1 hour
  5. Check for contractions by placing your hands on your abdomen